By Ted Waddell
LOCH SHELDRAKE December 18, 2001 The Sullivan County Community College Generals continued their winning ways last Thursday night, but it was not easy.
SCCC (8-1) fought off a very determined team from Bronx Community College to post an 87-71 victory at the Paul Gerry Fieldhouse.
In the opening minutes, it was clear that the Bronx Community College Broncos came to play, and the Generals had their collective heads somewhere else than on the game of hoops.
Faced with a series of jack-rabbit quick steals and some pretty fancy ball handling, the Generals were down 18-14 at the middle of the first frame. At the half, they had a narrow 37-33 lead.
A fly on the wall probably would have its wings singed a bit if it was lingering in the locker room during halftime, as the SCCC coaches got their charges refocused.
In the second half, the Generals all started pulling in the same direction, as they heated up the floor to take a 68-56 lead at the seven-minute mark, causing tempers to flare on a Bronx CC team whose hopes of an upset faded against superior skills.
Four consecutive plays set the tone of the game for the Generals as they hunkered down in the bunker in the fieldhouse, bringing the crowd to its feet with back-to-back slams by Shiron Brown and Dana Holmes, and a couple of strong rebounds by Andre Simmons and Brown under the hotly contested boards.
We were close, but we broke down defensively and didnt run the sets we needed to win, said Broncos coach Kevin Burns.
Burns said his team never really established themselves in the second half as the Generals took over the game. He credited the play of Broncos players Junior Guzman, whom he noted performed very well and the three-point shooting skills of Troy Frierson.
His take on the nationally ranked Generals?
Theyre always in the Nationals, and Im looking forward to seeing them in the championship game again this year, said Burns.
According to Chris DePew, SCCC AD and assistant mens basketball coach, The mark of a good team is figuring out a way to win when they just didnt have it. An oblique reference to making lemonade out of lemons, as he watched some rather sloppy early game play from the sidelines.
Chad Beeten was selected as helmsman of the Generals after the season got underway, and since then has in essence been sharing the coaching duties with DePew.
In assessing the team after his fourth game at the helm, Beeten said that he thought we were doing well, but then we took a step back tonight.
They wanted the game a lot more than we did, but in the end we had more talent . . . we found a way to win, Beeten added. It was by no means pretty, but a wins a win. Id rather play bad and win, than play good and lose.
He credited a couple of home team hoopsters for their ability to step up to the plate during the win: Monticello High School grad Andre Simmons, who gave us 38 minutes of basketball even though he was playing sick . . . had a lot of rebounds and a handful of plays and points and Wygene McCants had a lot of offensive rebounds when we just couldnt buy a shot . . . made all the right plays when we needed them.
Andre and Wygene won the game for us tonight, said Beeten.
Beeten, who isnt a guy to argue with success, is getting used to his relatively new position.
Were eight and one in the country, so I guess thats good enough, he said. The transition is going well. I think theyve done a good job buying into what Im teaching . . . how to play basketball . . . the basics, mostly defense.
Double digit scorers for the Generals included Shiron Brown (21), Wygene McCants (17), Dana Holmes (15), Davon Wilson (13) and Andre Simmons (12).
For the Broncos: Troy Frierson (a game-high 23), Daniel Douglas (17) and Ike Anaele (15).
At the free throw line: SCCC was 22/37 (59 percent) and Bronx CC was 7/13 (54 percent). The Generals McCants had the honor of being the most fouled hoopster of the game as he picked up 18 tickets to the free throw line, making 11 (or 61 percent) of those shots.
The big men on the boards were Andre Simmons (nine offensive rebounds, seven defensive rebounds) and Wygene McCants (seven and eight, respectively).
Among those on hand for the game was Sullivan County Clerk George Cooke. He is a familar face in the crowd at Paul Gerry Fieldhouse, as the former Monticello High basketball star likes to watch a good game of hoops every chance he gets.
He played for Monticello at center from 1956-60. In his senior year, the team was undefeated in the old DUSO League (Dutchess, Ulster, Sullivan and Orange Counties). Cooke was tabbed as a DUSO All-Star in his final high school season.
Sullivan County Community College has had some good teams in the past, and this years team is no exception, Cooke said. Theyre very talented, and its good basketball.
Generals Win on Saturday
In Saturdays home game against Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), the Generals were down by six at the half (49-43), but got it together in the final frame to win handsomely, 92-68.
Sullivan (9-1) outscored FIT 49-19 in the second half, as the defense bucked up to shut down the oppositions big guns.
Shiron Brown racked up a triple-double of 33 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists. Tim Butler added 29 points and 21 rebounds for SCCC.
FIT hoopsters to make double digits were Jimeke Wyche (15), D. Campbell (15) and Glenn Galley (11).
At the free throw line: SCCC 13/21 (62 percent); FIT 8/13 (62 percent).
Notes: As of December 12, the Generals were ranked third in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III poll.
Shiron Brown was ranked in the top spot for individual scoring (an average of 25.1 points per game), while Tim Butler was tenth (20 pts. per outing).
Butler was number three in rebounds, and Andre Simmons was 9th. In field goals , Butler was ranked third (72.3 percent), Simmons was 7th (64.4 percent) and Brown anchored the tenth spot (62.4 percent)
Davon Wilson led the pack in 3-point field goals at a 70.8 percent clip (making 17 of 24 attempts).
The Generals face off against rival Orange County Community College (OCCC) tonight at Paul Gerry Fieldhouse. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.